Friday, 26 November 2010


Well, just a little post today.

I just wanted to let you know that The Beauty Bible (that I raved about here) has a fabulous site here online 24/7. Duh, why didn't I know about this site earlier?!
I popped over to check it out and it was amazing. It was that good, that dinner is late, I couldn't drag myself away.
There are lots of up to date product recommendations; a question and answer area where the extremely knowledgable team answer your beauty queries; updates on Beauty Bible products and associated publications as well as a Beauty Blog.
If you have a moment to spare this weekend, why don't you check the site out?
You can be sure I will be stalking this site!
Happy weekend Girls!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

All about the lashes. Always!

Isn't it so?!

For me anyway, it seems there has been times when that is all it is about, the lashes. Okay, when it not about the hair or the scent but over the last year, I have tried four (and fallen for at least three) new mascaras, interestingly all from either L'Oreal or Max Factor. There was the Double Extension Tubes, the Lash Extension Effect, the Million Lashes and now, the False Lash Effect.

Max Factor's latest release claims to double lash size to give the impact of false lashes.

False lashes, no glue?!


It is no wonder that this ended up in my mitts.

Here are my lashes before application.

Here are my lashes after one coat.

And finally, here are my lashes with a couple more coats.

To be honest, I think that on some lashes, it looks like I may gone a coat too far. In fact, one coat of this mascara would maybe have been enough if it applied uniformly but I always seem to miss some lashes in my clumsy application. I think it may be that I am not used to the fat brush, Max Factor's biggest mascara brush ever.

I just can't quite catch all the lashes. You can see clearly in the last picture of my lashes where I've caught the same ones again and again.

The fact that you need to use so little of the formulation to coat the lashes reminds me of the L'oreal Million Lashes. However, this formulation is not so inky or messy. There are the occasional smudges especially when I try to get those more obsure lashes but I have found any residue easy to wipe away.

Actually I think False Lash Effect falls between the two mascaras that have previously worn my Holy Grail mascara crown. False Lash Effect transforms the lashes and gives results almost as dramatic and divaish as the Million Lashes but the finished lash line also has some definition, seperation and certainly a whole lot of extra length. So in that way, I find it similar to the Lash Extension Effect.

I'm liking the middle ground where this mascara stands. Sometimes when I find a mascara that delivers extreme results then I love it for a month or two but then as it dries out, I find myself craving something a little different. Lash Extension was great but I have mentioned before that that evantually I just got a little bored of been able to slap my mascara on each morning without thinking about it. On the other hand, when I first tried Million Lashes, it made me feel like some glamorous star but it soon got tiresome blotting the brush and the smudges away each morning before work.

In False Lash Effect, I may have found my compromise. There are clumps but in reality, I think these are less in your face then they seem to be in this pictures. False Lash Effect does look false to a degree, it does look not look natural but it still looks in place. The final thing that I love about is this mascara is, despite quite a heavy formulation, it seems to curl the lashes and seems to really open the eye area up which makes me look wide awake which can only be good at 6.30 in the morning.

I know that False Lash Effect seems quite popular. Have you tried it? What do you think? What is your favourite mascara? Am I missing out on any other amazing lash jackets?

Oh and the eye shadow is one of faves at the moment (when I'm wearing shadow at all. With mascaras such as this one, I don't always bother).

It is Frosted Almond from Front Cover. The colour is great and the quality is ok so you might see it here again sometime.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. . . so far!

Okay, I may have been a little hasty. I had a post scheduled to go up today.

*Insert said post.*

The verdict: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

In short, this did not seem to work for me.

There was no noticeable difference in the state of treated skin and I certainly did not notice any spots disappearing overnight.

Maybe (just maybe) it soothed my skin ever so slightly. However, the flaffing around in trying to get the solution out of the bottle -I tried cottonwool balls and cotton buds- sort of stressed me out and outweighed any soothing benefits. I was so worried about the whole 'don't shake' thing that I'm sure by the end of treating my skin, I was so hot and bothered that my skin was as red and inflammed as it was to start with. Stress!

I know that you can repeat applications if your spot is a bit stubborn and does not disappear the first time. However, I found this pink lotion very noticeable on my skin and not something you can really wear as you go out and about. Therefore, I found myself using it more as a night treatment and could not really use it more then once (at a push) twice every twenty-four hours.

I tended to leave the lotion on my skin overnight and wash it off in the morning but for me, this lotion did not work and now I'm left with some pink residue at the bottom of the bottle which seems to have solidified and I can not get it out. It feels as if I have no choice but to throw half the product I brought in to the bin.

I doubt I was using this product properly but all I can talk about is my experience and it didn't work for me. It is a shame because I was so excited (read that post here) when I found out about it and read some of the raves out there. I so wish this was a rave and I knew how to make the lotion work for me. This product is not that cheap and at fourteen pounds something titters on the edge of the 'expensive mistake' category. Argh!

On a positive note, I don't think this lotion overly dried my skin out. Overdrying and irritating skin was one of the concerns I had gleaned from my internet research. However, thankfully, the condition of my skin was unaffected in this way. If only it could have banished the demon spots, boo!

If I was to buy this product again, there is no doubt I would want to talk to a skincare expert or an advisor before forking out for it.

So that was my thoughts a couple of days ago but it now looks like I may have been a little hasty and that to some degree my judgment was harsh.

After writing the review, I tried again to get the remnants out of the bottle with a cotton bud. It was pretty solid but with perseverence, I got some which I dabbed on to the spots and applied overnight before rinsing off the next morning as directed on the bottle.
The following morning, the selected spots were still there (NOTE: The selected spots had not vanished overnight) but I could not feel them. There was none of the normal itchiness or irritation. This made me think that just maybe the solution was doing something. I repeated the routine again yesterday afternoon and overnight, last night. This morning, my skin really does feel soothed AND it looks better. The selected spots are still there but they are flatter and no longer as red. They almost look more like marks.

So maybe there is hope, after all.

The label on the bottle states
'For immediate relief from unsightly whiteheads and pimples, dab one drop of the solution on each erupted area overnight. DO NOT SHAKE SOLUTION. To use: Dip a cotton swab into pink sediment. Dab on pimple and let dry. Wash off solution in the morning'

Reading that and it seems, that over the last forty eight hours, the lotion has lived up to any promises it makes.

I do wonder if it failed me before because the lotion had been disturbed in the post. Maybe now, it has settled and the magic can begin.

Hmm, time will tell. I will carry on using the remnants of the product at night and see what happens.

At the moment, I'm reluctant to call this a miracle product. I have used it several times before and have never lost a spot overnight. However, there is no doubt that over the last 48 hours, my treated skin is behaving differently and I have benefitted from immediate relief as the bottle promises.

Fingers crossed!

Have any of you experienced this product? Any thoughts or advice?


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Happy, happy!

Hey, I can tell you that I was one happy girly on Sunday :)

I was preparing a future post about hair extensions and as I took the few prequisite "before" shots, I had the chance to compare my natural hair with some shots took earlier in the year.

This was my natural hair in July.

This is my natural hair now.

Yay, happy dance!

There is certainly some extra length there.

Now I'm not sure why. It may just be normal growth or maybe it is the Moroccan Oil and the less heat I consequently use on my hair or the fact that I am no longer wearing the heavy sew in extensions but exploring other methods such as the clip ins or taped. Or just maybe it is the Hair Growth and silcia tablets that I have been trying to pop daily.

Ok, so I still need extensions of one form or another to leave the house but I finally feel as if I'm getting there. My hair is getting longer and who knows? Just maybe by this time next year, I will dare to leave the house with locks that are 100% mine.

Spookily Nicoletta did a fab post on hair growth at the weekend. Have you got any tips for hair growth?


Monday, 22 November 2010

Five little obsessions!

Some of you may be used to my passing phases now. Sometimes I get all obsessed with some item or regime and then one morning, I wake up and it is all forgotten.

Remember, the Shred?!


However, when I'm indulging in the passing phases, they become the cornerstones of my beauty routines.

Here are five phases that I'm currently entertaining.

1/ Bitter Chocolate from Botanics

Over the last two or three months, I keep returning to this colour. Yes, the colour payoff (in the semi-permanent) does not last very long maybe only a couple of weeks but I do love the shade that emerges after the first shampoo. Dark hair may seem a little boring or blah but there is no doubt that the darker my hair is, the healthier and shinier it looks.

Sometimes my hair colour seems half-hearted and just a mish mash of lifeless browns. For once, my hair looks solid, shiny and polished. I initally took note of this colour after Carolyn Bax commented used a Boots Semi-Permanent Chocolate dye recently.

2/ The Teeth Whitening

It was back in the summer when I last became obsessed with my white pearlies. That was in the BlanX era. The BlanX product that I used did seem to work. However, the full white results do not seem quite so lasting so now I am using the Beverly Hills Toothpaste. Sarah has raved about one of their toothpastes before. I'm hoping my new habit will keep my teeth on the right side of white economically. I really do lay stock in the fact that Sarah believes in it and also that Watchdog have given it a thumbs up.

3/ RapidLash

For me, this year has been all about the lashes. Lash enhancers and mascara. I have just fallen for yet another mascara which I will tell you about soon but I have also started using another lash growth product. So far, I have used Lipocils, Ardell, the L'Oreal Lash serum and now I have started to use RapidLash. I must admit that I am using this very tentatively after reading an earlier post of Laura's. However, there are so many positive reviews out there for this product and as I'm so desperate for Bambi lashes. I am now applying this little product each evening and keeping my fingers crossed that firstly, I do not lose my lashes altogether and secondly, that I infact gain more lusterous, fluttery lashes.

4/ The Probiotics

After reading in the amazing Beauty Bible, that an annual 90 day course of probiotics could be of benefit to troublesome skin. I have been glugging the old Actimels down. I'm not sure if they are helping but this habit is a lot cheaper then some of the other regimes and creams that I have tried this year and at the very worse, the daily dose is probably only of benefit to my general health.

5/ Manuka Honey

Some of you may have read my earlier post on the benefits of honey. Well, now I'm going further and trying Manuka Honey. I will do a post on this soon but apparently Manuka Honey has special antibacterial properties which can be of benefit to your well-being which of course, will be reflected in your appearence. This phase has struck at the right time as there are few things that can get me out of my warm bed in these cold, cold mornings like the promise of hot porridge and honey.

Do you have daily beauty habits? What are they?


Sunday, 21 November 2010

Pink Shimmer!

When I did my blush series, I concentrated on offerings from Mac and Benefit but today, I would like to consider a cheaper product from MeMeMe, Pink Shimmer, £6.99.

Technically, the Pink Shimmer palette is not a blush but a highlighting powder. It contains five different shades of pink which you are meant to run your make up brush over and swirl on to your face to highlight.

As you can see, the pallette can get a little messy!

Well to be honest, this little product remained more or less untouched in my draw for more then six months because yes, I had the mega hyped higher end products to show off but also because some of the colours in this palette scared me. A palette that supposedly delivers pink shimmer yet one of the five shades looks pretty much red to me and at least two more of the colours are heading that way. Another one is bright, bright pink. I was never going to use this as a highlighter. Aren't highlighters supposed to be subtle?!

However for whatever reason, I picked this palette up the other day and took a swirl using the resulting shimmer (don't worry, it is a slight shimmer that is delivered not a glittery mess) as a blush and wow, it worked. I have used this product in this way every day since, I don't think I have even touched any of my other blushes for ten days plus.

This product does give a good colour payoff. It adds a subtle, healthy colour to my cheeks without been too much. It is hard to identify what the final colour is on the cheeks (possibly a very muted red) maybe because of the five different shades used to create it. I would say that it is darker then Benefit's Dandelion .
Basically, the resulting flush seems to come close to my natural (red!) blush colour, it doesn't look like make up at all when applied subtly. I would say two swipes or it can quickly, look clownish.
It actually says on the box 'Pink Shimmer for a sassy cheeky look'. I wasn't sure what sassy meant but to be honest, when I see this product on my cheeks I have to admit that MeMeMe may have hit the nail on the head. My cheeks look "sassy" and effortlessly healthy. I wouldn't say that Pink Shimmer is particularly long lasting but I get through maybe four or five hours before I reach a mirror and think that a touch up is required. I have heard that these Shimmer Palettes are renowned dupes for the more expensive Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks (which I have yet to try). I have also heard that MeMeMe are renowned for delivering some good Benefit dupes. As I'm so impressed with the Pink Shimmer as a blush, I think I might be trying the real MeMeMe Blushes next, Blush Me. Ahem, Benefit Coralista, anyone?!

I have been using the ShimmerShimmer mostly in a very natural look with a bit of foundation, mascara - I have a new love:) - and Ambre Rose.

So low price and low maintenance. 
Got to love that!

What do you think of MeMeMe? Any more high street wonders, blush or otherwise, that I am missing out on?


Saturday, 20 November 2010

The Beauty Bible!

Lately I have enjoyed wandering around the shops, perusing.

Utter bliss and the best form of exercise!

I was doing just this the other day, when it started to rain. I sought shelter in a local charity shop and well, by the time the rain stopped, I had secured quite possibly the bargain of the year!!!

Sure, it is an old edition. 1997, but, it has taught me and inspired me probably more then any other 'beauty' book ever.

The Beauty Bible is illustrated beautifully and covers everything from make up, skincare and haircare to reflexlogy, facial workouts(!) and cosmetic surgery.

I love the fact that this book does not focus or endorse just one beauty philosophy. It covers so many different beauty ideas and all the pros and cons. There are many insights from different 'experts' such as Liz Earle, Eva Lom, Bobbi Brown and Mary Greenwell.

The Beauty Bible also gives an insight in to the beauty habits of the celebs (interestingly many of those featured still, now a decade later, possess a name in lights), namechecking perfumes and lipsticks in connection with certain personalities.

There are also recommendations and reviews of different products. True, this feature may now be a little out of date. However, it may also bring to light a classic. A miracle product that I have missed along the way, that was lost under all the hype of the latest 'magical' or 'amazing' release.

Natural beauty is also not forgotten in these pages and there are suggestions for face masks, hair treatments and such like, using items from the kitchen.

To be honest, I have had this book a couple of weeks and have probably spent about 4-6 hours on it and I still feel like there is lots left to digest. I think no matter what I learn, there will be something new to swot up on here and I imagine that this fantastic book is a handy reference for anyone.

So far, I have learnt

* That an annual three month course of probiotics could be beneficial for my skin particularly in combination with Evening Primrose Oil. Actimel, here I come.

*Apparently Madonna likes XS from Paco Rabonne while Helen Christensen is more of an Opium lady.

*How to spend my day off indulging with my very own home spa treatments.

I absolutely love this book and still think, despite its age, that this book is worth the original £12.99 price. More then six times the £1.50, I paid for it in the lovely little charity shop.

I will certainly be looking out for the release of the Anti-Aging Beauty Bible next year to see if it lives up to the original.

Do you have a copy of The Beauty Bible? Do you think such books are good beauty investments?


Monday, 1 November 2010

Skincare: The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Yes, another skincare product for my collection. I drafted this post last week, I have since started using the product and will update soon to let you know how I have been getting on.

I know some people were very interested in the Doctor Brand posts (especially on wordpress).
Here is another skincare product that I am impatient to try now that it is finally in my possession.

Have you ever met the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion before?

Apparently this Lotion is infamous in healing spots in a spot zapper kind of way.  The idea is that you apply the lotion to the existing spot (particularly whiteheads) before bed and then wash the product off the next morning to find that the spot has gone (yes, just like that) or at the very least shrunk. If it has only shrunk, you simply repeat the regime a couple more times and it is alleged that the spot will soon vanish.

Ooh, well time will tell but I can tell you now why I have high hopes for this product.

* It contains calamine lotion, widely used to treat other skin conditions.

* It claims to work quickly which is good because if there are any spots on your face then there is an increased risk of spots spreading through cross infection.

* It is supposed to be soothing so even if it does not zap the spot then maybe the spot will be less irritated, red and noticeable.

* It is simple and quick to use.

* It is meant to be suitable for any skin type

* Even though it is a 'drying' lotion, I think it may well be more moisturising then those horrible gels and sticky cream spot zappers that I have encountered before and this isn't very scientific of me but the creamy pink potion just looks more skin friendly and gentle.

* Mario Badescu seems to have a huge following as a brand. Sophie has just posted a big thumbs up for one Mario Badescu scrub. Again not very scientific of me but tens of celebrities supposedly use their skincare products including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Moss and Eva Longoria. Oh yeah and let's not forget, Will Ferrell!

* The Drying Lotion seems to be particularly infamous. HQ Hair has selected it as one of their featured products in some kind of X factor spin off on their site this christmas.

* Although the drying lotion can be used alongside other products from the Mario Badescu brand, I do not feel the pressure, that some other skincare brands make me feel, to buy a whole system with three or four products straight off.

* The Drying Lotion can be used on any whitehead or pimple spot (as long as it is visible and on the skin surface). So it could be used for the face, chest and back. It may well be a good product to have on stand by. I think I read somewhere that somebody said it is a good product for 'first date' prep.

*Mario Badescu claim that they do not and never have tested on animals.

Wow, there are quite a few positives there.  So let's be fair and go for a bit of balance. To the negatives!

* The Drying Lotion is only meant to extingish spots that are actually already there. I haven't seen any claims about it zapping lumps under the skin or that it should be used those times when you feel that there might be a spot coming.

* It is best to avoid shaking this product as much as possible, the pink lotion works (drys best, I guess) when it is seperated from the water. It actually seems so difficult to remember this when most other products have a 'shake well' direction.

* The Beauty Brains have studied this Drying Lotion and indeed, agree that the product really will dry out spots but it could also dry out your skin which could cause further irritation and spots. I read this after I had purchased the lotion and was a bit 'oh dear' but then I saw two or three comments to the Beauty Brains saying in effect that despite what the science says, this product really was/is a miracle worker in their personal experiences. One thing is clear, the people who love this product really do love it. There is such a lot of enthuasism out there!

* I had to fork out £14.50 for my little 1oz bottle from HQ Hair. That is right on the limit of what I would pay for such a product (I think but then again, never say never . . !). For that amount of money, I really do hope the bottle lasts and that there is some visible results when I use the product.

So wish me luck, I will try this and let you know how I get on.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...